Systemic Liquidity Risk and Bipolar Markets


  • Pages: 361
  • Format: PDF
  • Published Date: 2013


Systemic Liquidity Risk and Bipolar Markets: Wealth Management in Today’s Macro Risk On / Risk Off Financial Environment

Systemic Liquidity Risk and Bipolar Markets answered the questions that need to be addressed by everyone who has a stake in modern financial markets. Questions link: How can one cushion the impact of systemically threatening events when the ability to exit financial instruments becomes almost non existent? How can one trust the integrty of financial models and orthodox macro financial theory when they have become increasingly discredited? Can central bankers be relied upon to become the counter-parties of last resort and provide a safety net under the financial system?


Conventional asset allocation tools and techniques have failed to keep apace with the changing financial landscape which has emerged since 2008. In addition to the preponderance of algorithmic trading and the associated changes in the liquidity characteristics of financial markets, a new paradigm of risk on/risk off asset allocation has emerged.

Risk on/risk off is a widely adopted style of trading and macro allocation strategy where positions are taken in several closely aligned asset classes depending on the prevailing sentiment or appetite for risk.  The consequences of the day to day (and intraday) switching between either a risk on or risk off tactical strategies poses significant new challenges to investors who are still making investment decisions with outmoded notions from traditional asset allocation theory.

Proper functioning markets require fractiousness or divided opinion, and this needs to be lubricated by communications from central bankers, economic forecasters, corporate executives and so on. As long as such messages and market conditions remain ambiguous, providing asymmetric information to different market players, then the conditions are present to enable systemic liquidity to be preserved.

Seen in this context the prevailing paradigm of bipolar risk on/risk off asset allocations is both a prerequisite to liquid markets, and also paradoxically, when one side of the polarity becomes too extreme, a major source of systemic instability.  Should such polarities become critically unbalanced, and should the signals received by market players become symmetrically disadvantageous as they were in the fall of 2008, then an even more substantial systemic liquidity crisis than that seen in those troubled times is a dangerous possibility.


  • Cross-Sectional Asset Correlations
  • The Changing Character of Financial Markets
  • The Flash Crash
  • Detecting Mini Bubbles with the VPIN Metric
  • Foreign Exchange and the Carry Trade
  • The Enigmatic Performance of the Japanese Yen
  • The Aussie/Yen Connection
  • Precursors to Illiquidity
  • Mainstream Financial Economics Groping Towards a New Paradigm
  • Could a Eurozone Breakup Trigger Another Systemic Crisis?
  • China, Commodities, and the Global Growth Narrative
  • Drawdowns and Tail Risk Management
  • Liquidity and Maturity Transformation
  • Emotional Finance and Interval Confidence
  • Adjusting to More Correlated Financial Markets